It is perhaps one of, if not the most famous painting in the world. The painting by Leonardo da Vinci called Mona Lisa. It has been the focus of intense study for generations, from the smile to the eyes and the lack of eyebrows. That’s what brings us to this fact. Like most people, I bet that when you looked at the Mona Lisa painting you noticed that she didn’t have any eyebrows or eyelashes. Why is it? Why doesn’t Mona Lisa have eyebrows and eyelashes? The true answer will surprise you, and it also has echo’s of a more recent painting scandal where an elderly, but misguided good Samaritan had destroyed a priceless painting while trying to restore it.
Why doesn’t Mona Lisa have eyebrows and eyelashes?
For a great deal of time there has been conjecture over the reason why Mona Lisa doesn’t have eyebrows or eyelashes. Most experts, both art and historical, argued that it was actually the fashion or the day. They reasoned that eyelashes and eyebrows were considered unsightly, and as a result women would pluck them out, pretty much as women do today. For centuries that has been given as the reason for their absence in this particular painting. She was only posing in the fashion of the day. This theory changed in 2007 when French engineer Pascal Cotte began conducting ultra high resolution scans of the painting. The scans revealed that Mona Lisa had eyebrows and eyelashes, but they had vanished over time, possibly as a result of over cleaning.